Visiting Writers Series to Conclude With Piano, Poetry Concert

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Visiting Writers Series will conclude with a multimedia concert performance of “Uncanny Valley.”

Concert pianist Oni Buchanan and her husband, poet Jon Woodward, will perform on Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in O’Donnell Auditorium.

Buchanan’s piano performance will reflect the spoken text of the poem “Uncanny Valley” as performed by its author, Woodward. “Uncanny Valley” is a long serial poem in 16 sections read out loud with numerous optional repeats throughout the text.

The term “uncanny valley” describes the emotional and empathic chasm between humans and imperfect human simulacra, a gap created by their imperfection. The piano work and poem cooperate in a search for what is most uncanny, and most human, in both language and music.

Buchanan has published three books of poetry, including her most recent collection, “Must a Violence.” She is also a concert pianist and has released three solo piano CDs, and actively performs throughout the U.S. and abroad. In addition to “Uncanny Valley,” Woodward’s books include “Rain” and “Mister Goodbye Easter Island.” He works at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.

This year’s spring Visiting Writers Series has featured authors involved in music.

The performance is free and open to the public. O’Donnell Auditorium is located at 50th Street and Huntington Ave.

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Concert pianist and author Oni Buchanan will perform at NWU on April 16.
Jon Woodward will join Buchanan and deliver the spoken text his poem "Uncanny Valley."